The Diamondbacks have signed 29-year old lefty swinging outfielder Dustin Martin to a minor league deal. Martin played in 30 games earlier this year in Independent ball and he was 27 for 110 (.245 avg, .785 OPS) with 22 runs scored, 4 homers, 16 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. Martin has played in 854 games in his first 8 years in the minors and he is 844 of 3,067 (.275 avg, .769 OPS) with 434 runs scored, 62 homers, 432 RBIs and 114 stolen bases.
Righty closer Matt Mantei was up and down for the D-Backs. But, in 2003, Mantei’s needle was pointing up. He pitched in 50 games (0 starts) for the D-Backs in 2003 and he was 5-4 with 29 saves, a 2.62 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He gave up 37 hits and 18 walks while whiffing 68 batters in his first 55 innings pitched, which is impressive. Mantei pitched in 178 games (0 starts) in his six years with the D-Backs and he was 8-11 with 74 saves, a 4.04 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. Mantei is still #3 in saves (74) and he is also #9 in games pitched (178) in Diamondbacks’ history.
23-year old lefty swinging SS Didi Gregorius came into 2013 as the Reds’ #5 prospect according to Baseball America. The D-Backs then acquired Gregorius as their center piece of a big three team deal also involving the Indians and Reds. D-Backs’ GM Kevin Towers compares Gregorius to a young Derek Jeter, which will bring a lot of pressure on him. So far, so good though as far as Gregorius is concerned. He has played in 17 games for the D-Backs so far this year and he is 23 for 65 (.354 avg, 1.015 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 3 homers and 5 RBIs. He has now played in 25 games in his first two years in the majors and he is 29 of 85 (.341 avg, .919 OPS) with 11 runs scored, 3 homers and 7 RBIs. It’s going to be no time until Gregorius is the full-time SS for the D-Backs.
20-year old righty starting pitcher Archie Bradley came into this season as the Diamondbacks’ #3 prospect according to Baseball America. Bradley has pitched in 7 games (all starts) in A+AA-ball so far this year and he is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. Bradley has given up 27 hits and 13 walks while whiffing 54 batters in his first 36 2/3 innings in the minors this year, as he has been nasty. Bradley has now pitched in 36 games (35 starts) in his first three years in the minors and he is 15-6 with a 3.25 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. The D-Backs are loaded with pitching in the minors, so Bradley likely won’t get his first taste of the majors until 2014.
An injury to projected starting CF Adam Eaton led to the D-Backs having an opening in CF and 25-year old righty swinging A.J. Pollock has filled that role so far this year. Pollock played in 31 games last year for the D-Backs in his first taste of the majors and he was 20 for 81 (.247 avg, .710 OPS) with 8 runs scored, 2 homers, 8 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Pollock has played in 30 games so far this year for the D-Backs and he is 28 for 109 (.257 avg, .758 OPS) with 17 runs scored, 12 doubles, 4 homers, 14 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Pollock will likely go back to a reserve role when Eaton gets ready to return, but the D-Backs hope he keeps playing well.
The Diamondbacks have placed 36-year old righty closer J.J. Putz on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained right elbow. He has pitched in 14 games (0 starts) for the D-Backs so far this year and he is 2-1 with 5 saves, a 4.26 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. Putz could need surgery to fix his elbow, which could knock him out for the rest of the 2013 season. 35-year old righty Heath Bell will get the first shot to replace Putz as the closer. He has pitched in 14 games (0 starts) for the D-Backs so far this year and he is 2-0 with 2 saves, a 4.73 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. If Bell falters, the D-Backs will turn to set-up man David Hernandez to close games. Hernandez has pitched in 15 games (0 starts) for the D-Backs so far this year and he is 2-2 with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. The D-Backs should be o.k. without Putz as they have a lot of quality depth in the pen.
The D-Backs acquired 28-year old lefty reliever Matt Reynolds from the Colorado Rockies on November 12th, 2012 for 1B/3B Ryan Wheeler. Reynolds has been nails for the D-Backs so far this year. He has pitched in 17 games (0 starts) for the D-Backs so far this year and he is 0-0 with 2 saves, a 0.00 ERA and a 0.49 WHIP. He has given up only 7 hits and 1 walk while whiffing 14 batters in his first 16 1/3 innings, which is as impressive as hell. The D-Backs hope the Reynolds keeps rolling along in 2013.
The D-Backs have released 38-year old righty starter/reliever Nelson Figueroa. Figueroa pitched in 4 games (all starts) in AAA-ball for the D-Backs this year and he was 0-3 with a 12.76 ERA and a 2.13 WHIP. Figueroa last pitched in the majors back in 2011 with the Astros. He has pitched in 145 games (65 starts) in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 20-35 with 1 save, a 4.55 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. This isn’t much of a loss for the D-Backs.
21-year old righty swinging 2B/SS Chris Owens is ripping the ball in AAA for the D-Backs so far this year. He has played in 27 games in AAA-ball so far this year and he is 43 for 122 (.352 avg, .883 OPS) with 26 runs scored, 2 homers, 16 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. Owens has now played in 362 games in his first five years in the minors and he is 436 of 1,544 (.282 avg, .743 OPS) with 238 runs scored, 37 homers, 156 RBIs and 32 stolen bases. The D-Backs are loaded with middle infielders on their roster right now, but Owens could get his first shot at the show at some point in 2013 if he keeps raking and the need arises.
The D-Backs have signed 34-year old righty swinging outfielder Juan Rivera to a minor league deal. He played in 109 games for the Dodgers last year and he was 76 for 312 (.244 avg, .661 OPS) with 30 runs scored, 9 homers, 47 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Rivera has now played in 1,058 games in his first 12 years in the majors and he is 950 of 3,471 (.274 avg, .766 OPS) with 425 runs scored, 132 homers, 539 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. Rivera will likely get called up by the D-Backs in a couple of weeks if he’s hitting the ball well in the minors.